Millions of Roaming Open Source Reporters

Yes, I do realize that the concept of mobile blogging (moblogging) has been around for a while now. But one important aspect really didn’t hit me until during a few recent conversations here at Masthead and after reading this NYT article on Verizon’s new offering. The point that really stuck me is the “vision of one billion people walking around with mobile camcorders.” And when we get there, the notion of mobile reporting will be dramatically altered. As the mobile phone transforms into a personal & portable input device, soon there will be millions of people roaming around with direct and immediate publishing machines.

What are the ramifications of this change? In essence, there will be millions of roaming open source reporters walking around, ready to log and publish news immediately as it occurs. Now that’s very cool. We won’t have to wait for traditional news media to learn about and send someone to cover an unexpected event. Provided that there are people in proximity with a mobile camera phone, the experience can be instantly covered and reported via blogs. Of course this type of coverage is already occurring with conferences and other events of the digerati club, as well as during last year’s election. But surely there will be one seminal large-scale event when moblog reporting truly hits the mainstream. Perhaps someday soon a 24-hour news channel will replace the scrolling ticker with a Flickr RSS feed of event-specific tagged photos? Or we’ll just receive our news via RSS feed from “trusted” editors of (mo)blogs? (As I’ve blogged about previously, we need some type of filter for the massive amount of instant content that will be available.)

If anyone has links to others’ thoughts on this idea of roaming mobile reporters, I would be interested if you could share them.

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.